New App A Day: Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition

Old Bram would probably flip his lid if he saw the dark magic that brings his most famous horror story, Dracula, to life on the iPad. This e-book takes interactivity to a new level, allowing you to strike a match when the scene gets dark, or open letters between Jonathan Harker and his fiancee Mina.

Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition attempts to blur the lines between a game and an e-book. Though there are multiple versions of Dracula to buy on the iBooks store, including one that is free, this $5 App Store download is by far the most ornate. It is abridged, so many sections of the text have been snipped out, and in its place are interactive elements that clutter up most pages.

The most exciting of these include a virtual version of the cross that a gypsy places around Harker’s neck, which falls onto the page and responds to your touch. You’ll also sometimes have to illuminate the text with a match or lantern, and occasionally the screen will light up or darken to simulate the time of day.

The end result is a unique, immersive reading experience that really is only possible on the iPad. It’s a bit like a digital pop-up book, but sometimes all those bells and whistles can get in the way of the text. If you just want the story, download Dracula for free on the iBooks store. But if you’re looking for something a lot more atmospheric, Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition could be a worthwhile purchase.